Information about Kamikaze West Airfield
Kamikaze West Airfield
Kamikaze West Airfield is the birthplace of the fleet of World War II fighter pilots (collectively called kamikaze) in Pampanga. Located in Mabalacat City, the airbase is a reminder of historical events during the Japanese occupation in the early 1940s.
It was constructed by the Japanese in March 1944 and started its operation in October 1944 after a kamikaze unit in Mabalacat was organized. The first kamikaze squadron led by Lt. Yukio Seki took off on October 21, 1944 to attack United States Naval forces east of the Philippines. Then in January 1945, the last kamikaze sortie from this airfield took off and attacked the US forces in Lingayen Gulf.
The last flight from this airbase took off when two evacuation planes loaded with classified kamikaze documents and personnel made a low-flying escape to Taiwan. Those who were left behind fought for the defense of the entire Clark Air Base against US forces. Americans eventually got control of the airfield in January 1945.
While the airfield played a major role in the Japanese forces fight against the US army, it now serves as a spot that commemorates the young pilots who fought in World War II. It also draws peace advocates from Japan and other countries.
Visitors can also enter a kamikaze tunnel situated in the hill called “babang dapu” or alligator’s jaw. Constructed as an air raid bunker during deadly US attacks, it is the only known kamikaze tunnel that remained intact after World War II. Visitors are respectfully requested to say a prayer for those who departed during the ferocious war.
Best time to visit
It is highly recommended to visit the airfield during the dry and cool months, between November to February.
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